Love, devotion and surrenderLove, devotion and surrender cannot be separated. If one drop of love is taken away from the vessel, even if the vessel is full to the brim with love, then devotion and surrender will immediately go away. They are divinely interlinked. It is love that contains devotion and surrender. A mother loves her child. Although the child kicks the mother, the mother enjoys it because the child is kicking her and nobody else.
Our foundation is love. If we can really love the Supreme, then devotion and surrender will always be there. But when love goes, nothing remains. Love is the root and devotion is the spreading tree. If there is no root, then how can we have the tree and the branches? If we have real love for the Supreme, then we shall not have to fight, we shall not have to struggle for devotion and surrender; they have to come and they will spontaneously. It is love that compels everyone to devote himself. If we have love, then we are devoted. If one is devoted, then he surrenders himself consciously and willingly.
Devotion and surrender go together. Devotion is the first step and surrender is the second or last step. When we show devotion we show it to the Highest in ourselves. Surrender is a little different. When we surrender, we immediately become one with the person to whom we have surrendered. In devotion we bow down, little by little, inch by inch, drop by drop, and enter into the Supreme. Devotion is wonderful in the inner life and the outer life. If we devote ourselves to something or someone, then sooner or later we achieve success in whatever we aspire for. If it is spiritual devotion, then it can be very intense. But unfortunately, our devotion may not be pure because we have thousands of desires. Somebody is devoted to his Master but at the same time he may be assailed by thousands of desires. Each desire is like a drop of poison. It is wonderful that he is coming to his Master with devotion, but he is also bringing poison.
When we approach God with devotion, soulful devotion, God comes and stands right in front of us with all His Concern. Concern is the power of God’s Soul. When we approach humanity with devotion, we see our total oneness with humanity. But until we devote ourselves unreservedly to the cause of humanity, we can never dare to be one with humanity.
In a seeker’s devotion, there is a kind of give and take. The seeker says, “I devote my entire life to you, but you have to give me inner realisation, illumination or something else.” This is conditional self-offering.
After devotion comes the stage we can call selfless love. Selfless love is when we love and don’t care for anything in return; we become one with the object of our adoration. In this love there is a subtle feeling that the Beloved will give us the best fruit because we will not bother him with silly emotional problems or desires, with “Give me this” or “Give me that.” In selfless love, that stage has been done away with. The seeker knows that the Supreme will give him something nice, something worth possessing; he has not to ask for anything. This is selfless love.
Surrender is the last stage. In surrender we feel the absolute acceptance of the Divine and the Supreme. If we surrender our life totally and say, “God, I place my life entirely at Your Feet,” then our whole existence enters into God. God is Omniscient, God is Omnipotent, God is Infinite, so our surrender immediately becomes the Omniscient, the Omnipotent and the Infinite. Surrender is the quickest road to oneness with God. If we just jump into the ocean of Peace and Bliss, then we will become one with God.
When we say “surrender”, it is not like the surrender of one army to another. If one army surrenders in the battlefield, immediately it is at the mercy of the victor. The victim can never expect to be as powerful as the victor, so the vanquished soldiers say, “We are at your feet.” But in spiritual surrender, the moment a disciple surrenders entirely to his Master, he becomes one with the Consciousness, Light and Bliss of the Master. At that time the Master starts seeing through the eyes of a particular disciple, he feels through the disciple and he does everything through that disciple because he and the disciple have become one.
When a devotee surrenders himself entirely to God, on the strength of his surrender, he becomes absolutely one with God. God stands with open arms and embraces him and says, “Come into My Heart.” In the ordinary world, if I surrender to you or if you surrender to me, I shall make you my permanent slave and say, “Do this, do that.” But in the spiritual world, in God’s world, if we surrender to God, then He just places us in His Soul.
In surrender the disciple will say, “I do not care for Heaven. I do not care for hell. I care only for my spiritual Master.” It is the spiritual attitude that prompts us to say, “No matter what God wants to give me, no matter what He wants to do with my life, I am ready. I fully surrender with my very breath, my very existence. Even if God does not want my help, my life or my existence, I will be happy.” At that time the disciple wants only the Will of God, the Supreme. This is the true surrender.
It is very easy to say, “Let Thy Will be done.” But when we say this, we have to identify ourselves with God’s Will. How? Through surrender. If we really surrender, then we become one with God’s Will. In the spiritual life, there can be no better achievement and no more powerful weapon than surrender.